Nepal’s first satellite has been launched into space, which will soon start rotating around the Earth’s orbit to collect information about the country’s topography and Earths magnetic field. The NepaliSat-1 was launched at 2.31 a.m. on from the Virginia-based station of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US, according to authorities at the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
The satellite, developed by two Nepalis — Abhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha — at Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology, bears the Nepal flag and the NAST logo. Similar satellites from Japan and Sri Lanka were also launched alongside NepaliSat-1. According to the NAST, the satellite is equipped with a 5MP camera to capture Nepal’s topography and a magnetometer to collect data related to the Earth’s magnetic field.
The images and data will be sent by the satellite to the ground station at NAST, which is currently under construction. The total cost from developing the satellite to launching it and constructing the ground station was said to be 20 million Nepalese rupees ($179,915).
A group of four engineering graduates were also working to launch another Nepali satellite ‘Nepal PQ-1‘ in 2020.